About the Making it Work project

About the project


Recruiting and retaining a skilled workforce is a common issue to the entire Northern Periphery and Arctic region, and across other remote and rural parts of the world. There is no single solution to resolving inadequate public sector workforce supply; multiple initiatives that each bring incremental improvements must be used to ensure an overall positive impact.

About Recruit & Retain

Between 2011 and 2014, Recruit & Retain, an international collaboration worked to identify and test solutions which address the challenge of recruiting and retaining health professionals in rural areas. The project included partners from Scotland, Sweden, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, and Canada and was funded by the European Union Northern Periphery Programme (NPP). Recruit & Retain was the beginning of a process aiming to build capacity in rural organizations and communities to address their workforce challenges. This research provided a baseline understanding of the factors that influence recruitment and retention, through a literature review, surveys and interviews with professionals who work or have worked in their northern rural and remote regions. This transnational team also piloted and evaluated a number of interventions designed to support rural and remote recruitment and retention of professionals. The initial work produced a set of fact sheets that can be reviewed at Recruit and Retain Solutions (Hall, 2014). The project provided a set of 29 solutions, a new evidence base and, a framework from which to select and implement solutions intended to work in any given remote and rural organization and community. From these pilots, an integrated model for workforce sustainability was developed which has been tested throughout the second phase of collaboration. In Phase 2 (Recruit & Retain: Making It Work), funded through the European Union Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA) Programme, partners in each of the five countries implemented and evaluated a suite of interventions, evaluating them as case studies, and fine-tuned the Making it Work: Framework for Remote Rural Workforce Stability.

Recruit & Retain: Making it Work

From 2011-2018, an international collaboration including academics, human resources professionals, health services administrators, health professionals, and social and cultural development professionals, studied factors related to workforce recruitment and stability in rural and remote environments. All partners were living and working in Northern rural or remote communities and, with the combined efforts of their peers, developed, implemented and evaluated a variety of solutions that support recruitment and retention in these communities.